(Halifax, NS) – The two-time defending champion Quebec wheelchair basketball team will face Ontario in the gold medal game of the 2011 Canada Games Thursday February 17 at 7:00PM (ATL). It will be the third time in four tournaments that the two rivals have met in the finals.
The 2011 final will feature 10 returning players who participated in the 2007 championship game when Quebec narrowly defeated Ontario 63-62, including seven from Quebec (Carl Pelletier, Maxime Poulin, Maude Jacques, Nicolas Palmer, France Vallée, Gabrielle Côté, and Jonathan Vermette), and three from Ontario (Jesse McNalley, Dayton Sopha, and Shayne Smith).
The two teams also met in the 1999 final, which was won by Ontario.
Quebec’s Maxime Poulin (photo attached) led his team in their semi-final victory over Manitoba Wednesday evening scoring a game-high 31 points. He shot an impressive 10-for-15 (67%) from the field and went a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line and 2-for-3 from three-point range.
Carl Pelletier scored 15 points for Quebec and collected a team-high 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
“The game went very well against Manitoba. It was one of the best game’s we played this tournament. It was a much better executed game for us with our pressure. It was a shame the other team’s best player fouled out early,” said Quebec head coach Marc Antoine Ducharme.
“Since we haven’t had too many difficult games yet, we really want to make sure we start fast and can score some easy baskets in the beginning. The focus for tomorrow is definitely defense and chair position,” said Ducharme.
Earlier in the day, Ontario cruised past Saskatchewan 71-45 in the other semi-final match.
Ontario’s Dayton Sopha scored a game-high 29 points and 14 rebounds. He also led all players with 9 assists.
Jesse McNalley scored 11 points and Shayne Smith and Kevin Wakeling each scored 10 points for Ontario.
The bronze medal match between Manitoba and Saskatchewan will take place Thursday February 17th at 5:00PM (ATL).
For more information, please visit www.canadagames2011.ca or www.wheelchairbasketball.ca, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WCBballCanada or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wheelchairbasketball.